Design Decisions

The Benefits of a Curbless Shower

Design: Michelle Dirkse

We are going curbless on our new master bath shower. It seems as if every time we mention this, it sparks interest and we get a lot of questions.

So what exactly does curbless mean? A curbless shower is just what the name says, a shower that doesn’t have a curb or threshold. It has a seamless design without the divider between the bathroom floor and shower floor. In other words, the bathroom floor tiles will be the same all the way through without any curb or disruption in between.

We are choosing to go this route for several different reasons, but the main reason is the clean lines and modern look it creates. Not only is the curbless shower visibly appealing, it has many practical features.

Benefits

To us, the biggest benefit is all visual. I love the way it creates a continues flow of the bathroom floor. When you pair the continuous floor tile with trackless glass, it creates a much more open feel as you can see in the bathroom below.

Design By: Sam Sacks

Another benefit is easier access. Although it is common to see this type of shower without a door, we will have glass surrounding ours. This will keep water from splashing out without disrupting the seamless flow.

Getting rid of the curb also eliminates a tripping hazard. Wet tile is already slippery. You shouldn’t also have to worry about stubbing your toe as you get in and out of the shower.

Another great thing about a curbless shower is that it’s easier to clean. The seamless design means less places for mildew and grime to gather. I don’t know about you, but this is a great benefit to me. Less cleaning is always a plus!

Does it cost more?

Cost is always a big question. After the final shower is complete, you are looking at around $700-900 more dollars for this type of shower versus a regular tile shower.

Design: Eat.Bathe.Live

A curbless shower may be a little more work on the labor side which will add a couple hundred dollars onto the total. The remainder of the cost difference if more at the beginning when you purchase the flooring system. The tile amount should be around the same.

Is it hard to install?

The biggest difference in installation of a curbless shower versus a regular tile shower is the flooring. The shower will need a structural drop in the floor framing to accommodate the slope. The drop is then lined with water proof membrane or pan, which after installed should be flush with the cement fiber board installed outside of the shower. This allows the bathroom floor tile to be laid continuously into the shower.

Update

Since originally writing this article, we have completed and moved into our new house. I’m happy to report that we did end up going with a curbless shower, and we absolutely love it!

Our favorite aspect has to be the seamless flow of the mosaic tile floor right into the shower. We also love the fact that cleaning is so much easier. As I mentioned above, the corners and crevices of a traditional tiled shower curb always seem to get a lot of soap scum build-up. Not having to worry about that is great!

So, was it worth the extra cost? I definitely think so!

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3 Comments

  • Reply Amanda

    Where is the shower door from?

    October 19, 2019 at 7:18 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Amanda. I’m not sure, but I’m sure it was custom made.

      October 23, 2019 at 7:53 pm
  • Reply Erin

    If you are just doing a cosmetic remodel to tear out an old tile shower with a curb, is going to a curbless shower not possible? It sounds like it needs to be originally planned for in the framing process. Thank you.

    August 27, 2020 at 6:24 am
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